A smattering of work we have seen around the globe this March.
DOUG + MIKE STARN
Doug + Mike Starn, Nuff Said, 2017, acrylic paint on LP album covers and magnets
Born in 1961, identical twins Doug and Mike Starn are showcasing large-scale portraits this month in a solo show in Aspen that perfectly capture an ephemeral sense of time and place within America. Using iconic yet technological components as a gridded backdrop (aka album covers), the Starn brothers create a body of work that celebrates the constant cultural significance of music. FYI the albums inside are fully functional and can be taken off the piece (using magnets) and played on a record player.
Doug + Mike Starn, Because Mutiny on the Bounty what's we're all about, 2017
acrylic paint on LP album covers and magnets
The brothers first received international attention at the 1987 Whitney Biennial and have continued to defy categorization as they effectively combine traditionally separate disciplines such as photography, sculpture, painting, found images, and architecture. By far, their largest artistic endeavor has been their series "Big Bambú". The roof garden exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 2010 was the 9th most attended exhibition in the museum's history with almost 4,000 visitors per day. The installation was comprised of a network of more than 2,500 fresh-cut 30-40 foot long bamboo poles lashed together.
inkjet prints on Zerkall paper glued to cut LP album covers, vinyl lettering and magnets
Major artworks by the Starns brothers are represented in public and private collections including: The Museum of Modern Art (NYC); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, (NYC); The Jewish Museum, (NYC); The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC); The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC); Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan; La Bibliotèque Nationale, Paris; La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, amongst many others.
Ellen Carey, Dings & Shadows, 2017, unique chromogenic print on glossy paper
Ellen Carey's new work, in an exhibition in Los Angeles, investigates the very fundamentals of capturing color on paper through light. Creases and folds create a relief map of geometric shapes and ridges and work in combination with photographic color theory to create boldly hued abstract compositions.
Carey's new body of work explores the very fundamentals of capturing color on paper through light by using the photogram process and signals a return to the darkroom after years of working with the famed 20x24 Polaroid camera, one of five in the world. Traditionally, photograms are made through a camera-less process by placing an object onto photosensitive paper and exposing it to light, creating a shadow-image. However, Carey foregoes using any objects in the darkroom and instead uses only light, color and the actual paper itself to create the works. In complete darkness, she first creases and bends large sheets of photo paper. Once the paper has been shaped, different parts are exposed to and activated by light. Finally, the paper is flattened and processed to achieve purely abstract compositions.
Ellen Carey, Caesura, 2016 unique color photogram
DINH Q LE
One of our favorite Vietnamese artists presented an impactful installation at Art Basel Hong Kong this month. Dinh Q. Lê, best known for his large-scale photographic and video works, questions perceptions of historical events and explores people's personal memories of these events. Through this process he has studied the legacy of the Vietnam War and its ramifications in contemporary Vietnam. In his latest powerful installation, Dinh Q. Lê explores the refugee crisis using four common images from refugees in the Mediterranean Sea across 150-foot expanse of photo paper. The scale of the image questions how photos are used in today's culture of media consumption.
Matthew Chambers, One Can't Work By Limelight, 2017, oil and acrylic on canvas in artist-made walnut frame
Matthew Chambers moved to Montana from Los Angeles eight months ago and spent his first winter in over a decade painting what his landscape might look like when it takes off its thick sweater of snow. In a showing in LA, the softened shapes, muted palette, and absolute stillness of the winter create a hypothetical landscape that changes with every storm. His time outside is filled with the possibility of color and he approached these canvases as if they were the snow-draped mountains outside his window.
A departure from his flock-painted florals, these canvases are a refreshing reminder that Spring is coming.
Matthew Chambers, Hiding Below A Windy Shoulder, 2017, oil and acrylic on canvas in artist-made walnut frame
At the turn of the 20th century, New York City's wealthy elite gathered in opulent private ballrooms to define their social status. "Open House" is a new commission by Los Angeles-based artist Liz Glynn that highlights this historic class distinction. It references one of the grandest Fifth Avenue interiors designed by Gilded Age architect Stanford White: the now-demolished William C. Whitney Ballroom.
Liz Glynn, Open House, Installation view, Central Park, New York, 2017
Open House transforms Doris C. Freedman Plaza in Central Park, NY into an open air ballroom where scattered furniture and arches are situated ominously eight blocks south from the original mansion. Glynn's lavish Louis XIV sofas, chairs, and footstools evoke the historic home, but with a twist: these objects feature sculpted additions and are cast in concrete, a populist material more commonly seen in modern architecture. With this revision, the artist invites the public to enjoy a previously exclusive interior space that is now open and accessible to all.
Liz Glynn, Detail of chair from Open House installation, Central Park, NY, 2017
Liz Glynn's sculptural practice typically engages with issues of social ritual, class, and the dynamics between public and private space. Her work often features participatory performances employing historical narratives and modern materials to recreate and reinterpret objects and bygone environments that she has researched extensively. Within her practice, she invites audiences to question narratives framed around objects.
William C. Whitney residence, 68th Street at 5th Avenue, Original interior view of ballroom, photo c. 1901